‘Carter v Boehm 250th Anniversary’
This year is the 250th anniversary of the seminal decision Carter v Boehm (1766) 3 Burr 1905. As Cory J remarked in Coronation Insurance Co v Taku Air Transport Ltd  3 SCR 622, Lord Mansfield decided that case when:
… the world was a little different. It was a simpler if not, in some respects, a gentler place. The business of insurance was very different. Then policies of insurance were issued most frequently to cover a vessel, or its cargo. The contract was issued for the benefit of the insured. It was the owner as insured who would have the detailed knowledge of the vessel or its cargo. No one would know better than the owner of the incipient dry rot or the tendency of the ship to take on water in a fresh breeze. This was knowledge that the insurance company could not readily attain and it was appropriate to relieve the insurer of all responsibility for obtaining it. That principle held true in 1766. It can hold true today where the policy is for the exclusive benefit of the insured.
As is well known, Carter v Boehm concerned a French attack on Fort Marlborough, a British trading post in Bengkulu (then known as Bencoolen), Sumatra. Amazingly, the Fort is presently in pristine condition, thanks to the Indonesian government.
The current issue of the Insurance Law Journal is entirely devoted to the legacy of Carter v Boehm. It includes contributions from leading insurance lawyers and academics from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Turkey.
Topics include the legacy of Lord Mansfield, Carter v Boehm: facts and context, the meaning of utmost good faith, whether there is a common law independent duty of utmost good faith, an insurer’s duty of utmost good faith before and after the issue of a policy, utmost good faith and tort law, utmost good faith and freedom of contract, whether an insured’s pre-contractual duty of disclosure has outlived its usefulness, utmost good faith and third parties, the role of good faith in commercial dealings and more.
This issue of the Journal will be a world class stand-alone contribution to any library, here or overseas. It is an issue not to be missed.
For more information CLICK HERE